2017 Reviews

Published on December 3rd, 2017 | by Justin G.

Scherer/Batten: BattleZone (MelodicRock)

The new MelodicRock Records project Scherer/Batten proves that the Frontiers label doesn’t have the market cornered on interesting collaborations between melodic rock veterans. It pairs vocalist Marc Scherer (Scherer/Peterik) and guitar hotshot Jennifer Batten (Jeff Beck, Michael Jackson) and features songwriting by none other than Jim Peterik (Pride of Lions, ex-Survivor), who also produced the album.

The Scherer/Batten debut is titled BattleZone, and despite the martial title this album is anything but a struggle. Peterik clearly understood the kind of talent he was working with, and he played to their strengths as well as his own. BattleZone is very much an album in the best Survivor/Pride of Lions tradition, full of mid-tempo melodic rockers and gorgeous AOR songs. Marc Scherer has the smooth, steady delivery you expect of a melodic rock singer, sounding a bit like Toby Hitchcock at times. And of course Batten delivers some fantastic melodies and stunning solos, showing just why she was selected to tour with the likes of Jeff Beck and Michael Jackson.

BattleZone features eight songs from Jim Peterik’s “vault,” plus three new songs written just for this album. They all have a classic Survivor vibe, but “Rough Diamond,” “Battle Zone” and “Dreaming With My Eyes Open” definitely stand out. The slower “It Cuts Deep” is another winner, combining AOR balladeering with intricate, atmospheric musicianship. I’d love to hear an instrumental version of that song one day.

Scherer and Batten have some real chemistry on display here, and they more than do justice to Peterik’s songwriting. BattleZone is a really solid, really enjoyable melodic rock album, and is one that should please fans of Survivor, Pride of Lions, Work of Art, Lionville and FM.

Scherer/Batten: BattleZone (MelodicRock) Justin G.

Summary: Satisfying, Survivor-style melodic rock

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